Former Chairman and National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje has added his voice to controversy about zoning in the party’s constitution said “it is clearly stated in our amended constitution”
Baraje, a newly conferred Tafida of Ilorin by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, made this known while addressing journalists in his residence in Ilorin to usher in ceremony of the chieftancy title coming up this Friday at the Emir’s palace, Ilorin, kwara state.
Responding to question on view of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on zoning ahead of 2023 presidential election, ex PDP scribe said “His excellency, our leader, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was saying the right thing but he has forgotten that constitution of PDP, has been amended, and I believe some of us will remind him that, it’s not in the constitution of PDP, before to certain number of years back, but it is now clearly stated in the PDP constitution that zoning should be respected and there is a caveat in the constitution which say that zoning should be respected for the purpose of giving sense of belonging to all members of the party and for all inclusiveness except and only when a resolution of the National Executive Council (NEC) decide otherwise”
“It is stated in the constitution black and white, It was reviewed in the constitution sometime around 2011. Although, before then, it was an oral tradition of PDP and it was even as good as being written. I met it like that when I took over as party National Secretary in 2008. Even when it was an oral tradition of the party, it was highly respected”
“It was formally included in our party constitution in 2011 when we were reviewing the party constitution before I left in 2011”
Baraje, however said, he was not sure that former Vice president, Atiku, was talking of party constitution said “I think what His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku, was even talking about was Nigeria constitution not PDP, if I got him right, he said “zoning is not in Nigeria constitution”
Former PDP, chairman also shared opinions that it is time for North central to produce President of the Country, having not produced number one citizen before, since independent, however warned that the campaign for zoning should not be over-flogged in order not to further divide the country.
Talking on his chieftancy title, ‘Tafida of Ilorin’ conferred on him by the Emir’s of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, he said “it’s a great honored and fulfillment to been recognized in one’s hometown. Although, It came to me as a surprise, because I never expected it. After the announcement, I went to do my research on who is Tafida and the role expected of the holder, and I discovered that it emanated from North Africa, Egypt precisely, and it was later adopted by Hausa/Fulani tradition and my research also revealed that the full title is ‘Tafida Aiki Seriki’ it means the service Emir’s is doing, simply means, one is a co-traveler of Emir. Therefore, that title is bestowed on an individual that is close to the Emir, understand the tradition and gives his life to the service of the community”
“I later came back to the Emir’s that; sir, what is the meaning of Tafida, sir? You are a renowned retired Judge, Emir said, I expect you to come and ask me, because you are a Teacher too and as a Teacher you always learning, fortunately, Emir explanation does not different from my research and I humbly asked him that why me? Then he replied that, you deserved it because of your various voluntary contribution to the humanity and community”
“As if that was not enough, I got a call from Sultan of Sokoto, two days ago, congratulating me and said “ you are welcome into the inner circle of traditional council, note, that henceforth you will be consulted on issues on tradition, culture, not only politics” indeed it is a fresh call for one to do more in terms of service to humanity and community development.